Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ejections: Phil Cuzzi (2)

3B Umpire Phil Cuzzi ejected Orioles Manager Buck Showalter for arguing an out call in the bottom of the 5th inning of the White Sox-Orioles game. With one out and two on, Orioles R2 Nick Markakis was caught stealing 3rd base, White Sox catcher A. J. Pierzynski to third baseman Brent Morel while Orioles batter Vladimir Guerrero was at bat. Replays indicate that Markakis contacted 3rd base with his hands prior to being tagged by Morel, the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the White Sox were leading, 4-3. This White Sox ultimately won the contest, 4-3.

This is Phil Cuzzi (10)'s second ejection of 2011.
Phil Cuzzi now has -4 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (-2 Previous + 2 MLB + -4 Incorrect Call = -4)
Phil Cuzzi was undrafted in 2011.

This is the 151st ejection of 2011.
This is the 71st Manager ejection of 2011.
This is Buck Showalter's second ejection of 2011.

Wrap: White Sox at Orioles 8/9/11
Video: Cuzzi Ejects Showalter


Bill said...

The clip is up on MLB.com...yikes.

Anonymous said...

Atrocious call..good lord,wasn't even close.

Anonymous said...

Markakis head got in the line of cuzzis view right when his hand hit the bag. thats why he couldnt see it.

Jon Terry said...

I kind of wonder about Cuzzi's position. I'm not MLB trained, but I would think that he would stay closer to the baseline. It looks like he got far enough out into the field that the runner's head blocked his view of the tag, and he had to make a guess.

Now, it was certainly a close call. Slow-motion replay always makes things look worse than they are. But even to the naked eye, on cameras from the infield view, the runner looked safe. I just think that Cuzzi ran himself out of the play.

Anonymous said...

Jon, Cuzzi should be in foul territory to take this play into third. He created an atrocious angle for himself and it's not like the play developed in an unexpected way. Had he been just into the grass in foul territory about a foot or two past the bag, he would have seen this play in its entirety and I doubt he would have kicked it. He essentially created the same angle as first base line extended on a play at the plate. The exact opposite of the ideal angle to view it from.

Anonymous said...

Stop! You can criticize the call all day long, it's easy to do. The positioning question is not a valid point of argument. I've asked numerous Pro's about this play. It's super difficult to call, a tag play at 3rd. The play is hard because you cannot absorb many plays in the same spot. Whereas, plays 1st can be absorbed, many of them, by standing in the same spot. The throws to 3rd are so different from everywhere, it's tough.
Anonymous@8:36pm is correct, Cuzzi got screened. I think because the arm was between Cuzzi and the tag, Cuzzi could not exactly determine when the touch happened. And since the ball beat the runner, it's an easy miss in the bigs.
Back to the positioning. I've asked about this play because I found myself with no theory on it. I was told it's a feel play totally. I was told, do not get caught setting up to early. I was told to keep 90 degrees in mind, but be ready to move.

Cuzzi missed it, but it's not surprising, it's much harder than it looks. And the slow motion replay shows, Cuzzi was most likely screened by the head, and arm. The ball beat the runner, and there was a tag in front of the base. I would have missed it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the person who posted at 9:33pm. Depending on the throw & fielder's position, the correct positioning should be at a 45 degree angle off the outfield side (foul line) corner of the bag IN FOUL territory. Feel bad for Cuzz, but hard to defend him on this one?

SPballsandstrikes said...

Anonymous 1:28AM,

My only question in terms of positioning is it was a throw on a steal from the catcher,and Cuzzi is already standing in foul territory when the play began so essentially all he would have to do is take a few steps up and be in perfect position. I guess I just don't understand why he would go into fair territory by quite a bit to make the call,and put himself in a position to completely miss the call.

If he was rotating,or had to jump out of the way of the ball i don't think anyone would be all over him,but it seems like he made a poor decision to go to a bad position in the field when it was unnecessary to do so.

I am an umpire,but not a pro,so take it as you will.

Anonymous said...

It's not that difficult if you remember to position yourself on the fielder's glove shoulder. Cuzzi was in the absolute worst position to see that call. Just like his call in SD last week...you would think he would make an adjustment.

Anonymous said...

I think I have to agree that his positioning was off. Working 3-man in AA and AAA we were taught to take the steal of third in foul territory. If the catcher's throw was into foul territory, then make the adjustment towards fair territory. If Cuzzi took this call in foul territory he would not have gotten screened.

tmac said...

This is a very hard spot to find a place to be. Very much done by feel and umpire preference, but obviously the more Cuz goes into foul territory the more he will be screened by the fielder. You don't want to stand in line with the throw (which might have been his best spot.. and you can NOT get perpendicular to the play like you would on a throw from right field. You may feel more cofrtable standing tall or you may like it closer to the ground.

That all being said we all know Cuz didn't see it. We all know Cuz isn't the best. ANd some of us know Cuz is the one of the nicest guys around.

One other thing.. This play is made a lot harder by a head first slide.

Anonymous said...

tmac...... sometimes your comments are over shadowed by your personal remarks about umpires. I'm talking about your name calling as it were. Since you are agreeing with my previous post, that the call at 3rd is indeed, a very hard spot to find a place to be, and it's really up to the umpire preference to a certain degree, to get into position. I would have to end by saying your technical grasp of this particular call is spot on. A rudimentary glance at this play, one would have to think that Cuzzi is the worst umpire of all time. But your ability to understand Cuzzi's dilemma has shown an impartiality that is greatly needed on this site. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I certainly will not argue with a AAA umpire. To me the only position Cuzzi would be able to see the play is on a direct line from the replay. I think the plate umpire had a better view, is what I'm saying. I wouldn't argue with being in foul territory on the play, but in this instance I think Cuzzi would have been looking at the fielders back. I also would agree with Anonymous@9:43pm-- Cuzzi would have had a chance if he went foul on the play stopping short of direcly behind the fielder, staying over the glove shoulder. Still with that position, 1 foot either way, and the back would screen Cuzzi.
I'm just happy that there's a few guys who understand this play is WAY harder than it looks.

Anonymous said...

Cuzzi didn't move. How hard is it to work to get in a better spot. You should strive to never have the runner between you and the tag. That being said.....going into fair territory is the last place you want to go. Remember, this is a steal play, that's it. The play happens the same every time. Catcher catches the ball... Third baseman catches the throw and tags runner. Don't go fair. You'll be looking through the runner every time. Learn from your mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Cuzzi did move. He certainly did not start in fair territory, but ended up there somehow.

Additionally, I used to think the C-spot was a tough place to try to beat a runner stealing 3rd to the line. I'll tell you what, it's a lot easier than starting the play in the 4-man, 3rd base postion.
I think the best place would be in fair territory, with the umpires feet 1 inch from the sliding fielder. That way Cuzzi would just have to look straight down at the play.

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